Trust Administration & Probate

When a loved one passes away, the Meier Law Firm will support you with compassion and outstanding legal services throughout the whole process.

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You don’t have to do this alone.

After a loved one has passed away, your family will go through the trust administration or probate process which can be time-consuming and complicated to say the least.

You don’t have to do this alone!

At the Meier Law Firm, we can help you navigate this process with compassion and care, and ensure the administration is done efficiently and correctly, so you can focus on your family.

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Call Us Today!
  • Make the probate, trust, and estate administration process as easy as possible
  • Feel at ease knowing that you have expert legal support
  • Work with a team who treats you with compassion and kindness through this difficult time
  • Avoid losing a loved one’s assets or estate due to complicated legal processes
  • Save time, confusion, frustration, and conflict
  • Have peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s estate has been administered as they desired

Orange County Probate Lawyer

Losing a family member is a challenging chapter in anyone’s life. That is why the last thing you want to worry about during this time is dealing with your loved one’s financial responsibilities, including paying their remaining debts and making sure their property is distributed correctly. Thankfully, you will not have to tackle this demanding process alone. With an Orange County probate lawyer on your side, these estate planning attorneys can help settle these debts and ensure the distribution of assets is completed properly after your loved one passes away.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of reviewing the assets of a deceased individual and determining inheritors. Or, more simply put, probate is the legal process an estate will go through when an individual passes away. During this process, the court will start distributing the estate to the proper heirs.

In general, probate is more straightforward when individuals create a Will before they pass away that defines their wishes, such as explicitly naming their Beneficiaries and the individual (Executor) in charge of overseeing their final wishes.

When Is Probate Required In Orange County?

In California, probate is generally required after an individual passes away. However, different types of probates may be applicable depending on the estate. For instance, simplified procedures can be used if the estate’s value is less than $166,250. Or, if assets are attached to a surviving owner or a beneficiary, then probate may not even be necessary. Take, for example, life insurance policies. If these policies have a named beneficiary, they would automatically transfer to that person without going through probate.

The Role Of An Orange County Probate Lawyer

California’s probate system is complex and has many technical rules and pitfalls that can result in numerous issues for families. Fortunately, when you work with an Orange County probate lawyer, you will not have to figure out these procedures on your own. These attorneys can help you get through the probate process as they work to settle the estate. More specifically, these lawyers can:

  • Identify estate assets and beneficiaries and secure these assets
  • Get the decedent’s property appraised
  • Make sure you understand all the debts the estate may have and advise you on how to settle these debts
  • Help with distributing and settling the estate
  • Prepare and file documents required by the court

However, it is important to note that the probate lawyer will either be representing the executor or an interested party. They cannot represent both in the same case due to a conflict of interest.

Assets That Are Not Subject To Probate

Although many people assume that every object, document, or asset will have to go through probate after their loved one dies, in truth, not all the assets under the decedent’s control will be subject to probate. For instance, property that is not owned individually by the decedent can be considered a non-probate asset. In addition, the following assets and accounts will also usually pass outside the probate process:

  • Any assets that are held in a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust
  • Any assets that are properly transferred out of the estate before the decedent’s death
  • Any assets that are held in joint tenancy with another individual
  • Certain assets such as IRA benefits or life insurance that have a named beneficiary
  • POD accounts (Payable on Death) and TOD accounts (Transfer on Death)
  • Trustee accounts
  • Any assets that pass to the surviving spouse

Finding The Best Orange County Probate Lawyer For You

When it is time to go through the probate process, you should reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable Orange County probate lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can ensure that all the stages of the probate process are completed according to the state’s laws and help you figure out if probate is even necessary, saving you a lot of stress, money, and time.

That is why do not wait any longer to get the legal help you require. Instead, contact an experienced Orange County probate lawyer today to learn more about this probate process and how these attorneys can help you.

Contact us today to schedule a planning session to discuss your probate situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a probate lawyer and an estate lawyer?

Even though both an estate lawyer and a probate attorney generally practice in the same area of law, there are usually numerous differences between the two.

Generally, a probate lawyer will handle the process of estate and trust administration once an individual passes away, while an estate planning lawyer will work with living clients on how their estate will be administrated. As a result, these attorneys often help clients prepare Wills, trusts, and other relevant documents.

What questions should I ask a probate lawyer?

Before retaining a probate lawyer, it is a good idea to find more about these attorneys and how they can help you. For these reasons, you should consider asking them the following questions:

  • Have you handled probate cases like mine before?
  • How much do you intend to charge for the case?
  • Do you specialize in probate law?
  • Will you personally manage my case or pass it off to another attorney in the firm?
  • How do you plan to handle my case?
  • What is the process involved in my specific case?

Can I do probate myself?

While it is possible to go through the probate process without a lawyer, it is always best that you reach out to an experienced Orange County probate lawyer to ensure the process is completed accurately and according to the state’s laws. This can prevent massive issues from arising when it comes to the distribution of the estate and make the whole process that much easier for you and your family.

“After my loved one passed away, Josh made a very difficult time a little less traumatic for me. 7 years later, he still makes himself available for any questions or problems that arise. He also helped me create a trust for my family. I have peace of mind knowing that my children are protected in case of the unthinkable, and I can’t thank him enough.”

— Kim B., Costa Mesa, CA

Our Trust and Probate Administration Process

1 Book a Planning Session
First, you’ll attend a planning session with us to discuss your family’s options regarding the administration.
2 Create a Customized Plan
We’ll identify what legal strategies will work best to administer your loved one’s estate.
3 Gain Peace of Mind
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the administration was handled efficiently and compassionately.
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“A great firm to handle my living trust needs and be thoughtful and thorough about it. I will refer them to anyone who needs this type of service and actually went to them due to their great Yelp reviews. Josh and Bonnie are professional while also being kind throughout the entire process.”

— Candy G., Corona Del Mar, CA


Workshops & Events

Estate Planning Musts
During the Pandemic—Wills,
Trusts, & Peace of Mind!

Overview:

No one wants to think about getting seriously ill or dying, but these are scenarios we must prepare for to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our money, especially during the pandemic. With courts closed and hospitals prohibiting loved ones from sitting by your bedside, we will show you step by step how to legally formalize your wishes and ensure they will be followed, bringing you total protection and peace of mind!

Workshops & Events
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We’re here for you.

Learn More About The Meier Firm

The Meier Law Firm will help your family get through this difficult time with compassionate legal care. To get started, book your planning session or give us a call.

Book A Planning Session
Call Us Today!